NBCUniversal Reportedly Declined New SmackDown Live Deal in an Effort to Keep Raw

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WWE‘s television future took an interesting turn on Wednesday, as NBCUniversal reportedly declined to re-up its current deal for SmackDown Live in an attempt to keep Monday Night Raw.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, SmackDown is now up for open bidding and the TV rights are being shopped to various networks. The publication cites sources and claims NBCU is focused on renewing its pact for Raw, which is expected to go for as much as three times its current value.

WWE’s contract with NBCU is set to expire in September 2019.

Annie Kruger — a spokeswoman for WWE — told Sporting News in March that the company plans to announce their new U.S. TV partner between May and September of this year.

NBCUni snagged the rights to SmackDown back in 2010. It first aired on SyFy before moving to USA in 2016. The show currently garners the sixth-biggest audience among cable originals.

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